The Voice

The Student News Site of St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School

The Voice

The Voice

Senior Editor Farewell

I began my time in The Voice back in 2020 as a new and unsure freshman. Before joining the class, my prior experience in writing consisted of an article I wrote for the Alexandria Times in 8th grade, and my decision to sign up for Journalism was made based on the fact that I had no interest in STEM or art electives, and my Mom told me I wasn’t allowed to have more than one free period. After 4 years of Journalism, I can safely say that it has been the best risk I have taken during my time in high school. 

Journalism and writing for the newspaper did not come to me naturally, but I am most proud of the times when it wasn’t easy. Going back to my first day, way back in the days of Covid school, I got lost trying to find the Journalism class and ended up awkwardly waiting for someone I recognized and following him to the classroom. I struggled to do interviews, especially with people whom I didn’t know, which was everyone for the first year. I struggled with punctuation, grammar, and brevity, skills I continue to work on to this day. The first time I brought a draft to be edited by my peers, I was dismayed when I was met with page after page of comments and highlighted sections.

 In my second article, I was so worried about offending people during a contentious election cycle that I wrote the article anonymously. Nevertheless, I am proud that I have always stuck to my guts – I don’t doubt that I have ruffled a few feathers, but I can safely say that I have never written anything that I don’t believe in and I take full responsibility for all of my writing. I have made mistakes; I cringe when I look back at some of the articles I have written, but any article that has my name on the top is something that I honestly cared about and felt was worth sharing. I lived by the philosophy that if a topic is worth writing about, it is worth writing it well. For me this meant extensive research, countless interviews and polls, and sometimes articles that spanned 4 or 5 pages. 

 In reading my writing over the last four years, I think that you, the reader, have learned a lot about me, just as I have learned more about myself. I think that my writing reflects a lot about me, because I put so much of my heart into each piece. I don’t know if there is an official stat, but I am going to go out on a limb and say I have written the most articles in the history of The Voice, covering everything from elections, college sports, Afghanistan, Haiti, Iran, sports gambling, energy drinks, and fantasy football punishments. I am glad for every piece that I have written and I think they have made me a better writer.

 I am incredibly grateful that I have been able to express myself and have this platform to write. For me, The Voice has been the way that I have connected with and become a part of the Saints community; I have learned more about the incredible and unique stories as well as the challenges and struggles we face as a school. I want to thank every student or faculty member who has sat through one of my interviews, taken the time to fill out one of my polls, or simply read through my articles. I especially want to thank Ms. McElroy and Mr. Heller for their patience and commitment to helping me become a better writer and for giving me the opportunity to be a leader in the newspaper. 

The Voice has given me some incredible opportunities; from interviewing an Afghani journalist who fled the Taliban takeover, working with a former editor at The Washington Post, to discovering my passion for politics and foreign affairs, which I will pursue at the University of Richmond this fall. I hope that in reading my work the reader will be able to hear my voice; from the voice of a kid too nervous to put his name under an article, to a senior editor, four, long years later. Every review, feature, op-ed, news rundown, and podcast I have made has helped build this voice. 

If I were able to talk to myself four years ago, I would tell myself to go for it more, to not worry about failing, to be more receptive to feedback, and to not take criticism personally. I hope that I have been able to lead the next group of journalists at SSSAS and that the passion for this newspaper and class stays long after my name disappears from the front page.

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About the Contributor
Jeremy Young, Staff Writer
Jeremy Young: Jeremy is a junior going into his third year on staff for The Voice. He enjoys writing about politics, policy, economics, and sports. In his free time, Jeremy plays baseball and runs cross country. Jeremy is ready to contribute to The Voice staff this 2022-23 year.   

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